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Acts 1:6-11, The Kingdom Plan and Purpose, is the first of four sections, which shows how God's people, much like this modern culture, has a disconnect with what God has done and what they perceive and do. The Book of Acts is all about design and purpose. When God plans something, His plans are complete. When He sent the Holy Spirit, God planned to do great things. His design has a purpose. The purpose implies the church's responsibility. This is His mission. This is our mission.
I recently witnessed to an atheist. He stated how he believed in evolution even though he saw an amazingly increase of design as he delved in his studies of microbiology and cell research. On the one hand he acknowledges a great amount of insight into the complexity of the human cell design and yet attributes the complexity of this design and all its interworking to chance. This is only one example of a many disjunctions or disconnections that are appearing in our postmodern culture. People are confused. A person might be a male, but because of his doubts, he doubts he is a man. He has questions about his obvious design. Because of their hardened hearts, they cannot see the obvious connection.
Designer -> Design | Design -> Purpose | Purpose -> Responsibility
Design implies a designer. We have a fancy car with a Library player only because the designers so planned it. They did not plan it for my car and so I do not have one. Evolution which boasts in chance suggests that design can come from it.
The Book of Acts is all about design and purpose. When God plans something, His plans are complete. His plans incorporate all the needed modifications. His design has a purpose. The purpose implies the church has a responsibility. This is the mission which will later be mentioned. The problem with God's people, much like this modern culture, have a disconnect with what God has done and what they perceive and do.
We, for example, might want the power of God as seen in the Holy Spirit but then disconnect ourselves from God's plan and purpose for that power. This happens when one focuses on finding a self-fulfilled lives. We want God's Spirit but do not rightly understand the implications of having the Holy Spirit in our lives.
On the other hand, we can become so charged up with a great plan for God but largely disregard the Spirit of God which would help us rightly conduct it. We focus on our own self-confident plans. This largely happens when one puts his or her confidence in degrees, experience or financial resources. This becomes an increasing problem in our age of wealth.
Acts 1:6-11 becomes a place that God interweaves these two things together: design and plan. God gives us the Holy Spirit because He wants to accomplish certain things through our lives (the design - how He equips us). When we interconnect these two things, power and plan, as we see in the early church as reported here in the Book of Acts, a great expansion of the kingdom of God results, both locally as well as worldwide.
6 And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." 9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; 11 and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."
A healthy church understands its spiritual roots and eagerly allows God's purpose to be worked out through their lives.
Temptations will try to confuse us. ￼What do I want in life? What if I had more money? These are temptations and to the degree we listen to them, we need to repent. It is not we who develop God's kingdom, but His Spirit. We need to be on a constant guard not to separate power from design or resources from God's plan. We need to keep in mind the way Jesus conducted His ministry. It will be the same way He works through us.
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